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Texas health department investigating severe lung disease among youth who use e-cigs

DSHS was first notified of possible cases following similar reports in youth and young adults in several other states.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said they are investigating suspected causes of severe lung disease in Texas adolescents who used e-cigarettes.

DSHS was first notified of possible cases last week following similar reports in youth and young adults in several other states.

RELATED: First Texas case of lung disease linked to vaping found in teen

According to Chris Van Deusen, with the state health department, Texas is investigating "fewer than five" suspected cases. He's not sure if the exact number but says it's definitely more than one and the patients are young adults. 

A health alert from DSHS is asking health care providers to watch for cases of severe lung disease and ask about e-cigs use, or vaping, in patients with severe respiratory symptoms like cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. DSHS is urging clinicians who identify cases to gather information about the products used and ask patients to save the vaping liquid in case it’s needed for testing.

RELATED: Vaping companies sue to delay US review of e-cigarettes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 94 cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping in 14 states dating back to late June. All of the patients tested negative for infectious diseases, and some have required hospitalization.  In addition to the respiratory symptoms, some patients experienced nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

DSHS said more information is needed to determine a cause and DSHS is working with the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration and other states to gather evidence about what the cases have in common and what is leading to the injuries.

DSHS says vaping is not safe for kids, youth or young adults.

Most e-cigs contain nicotine, an addictive chemical that can affect brain development in the teens and 20s.

For more vaping facts, click here.


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